American Idol's Big Question: Can Brooke White Survive Her Second Onstage Flub?
Much as I like her fresh-faced sincerity, White seems to be taking way too much of the madness to heart as American Idol gets down to the final stretches, and it's killing her performances.
Last week, only residual revulsion from Kristy Lee Cook's early missteps kept White from taking the long walk. And this week, she committed the cardinal sin of stopping mid-way through the intro of a song -- the second time now that she's restarted a tune in the competition. Before long, something that originally looked like a cool coffehouse flub is beginning to come off like a serious case of stage jitters.
If Idol voters were casting ballots solely on vocal style, however, Jason Castro's halting, game stab at Memory would earn him the one way ticket to Ejectionville. As usual, judge Simon Cowell came up with the night's best line, noting "I suspect I felt, like you, that that was the longest two minutes of your life."
It's a curious turn, given how stage-managed American Idol really is. The New York Times weighed in today, offering a behind the scenes look at Idol which boiled down to a few revelations you could have guessed already: a) they recruit all the pretty young girls at the stage front; b) they coach them on how to act during performances; c) every performer on the show has a bodyguard to make sure no fan actually touches them offscreen.
In truth, Andrew Lloyd Webber night turned out much easier on the ears than I'd imagined. Like Mariah Carey before him, Webber's image as a celebrity has become such a caricature that it's easy to forget what a brilliant songwriter he is. And watching both Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson breathe new life into their performances by tackling some of his gutsiest tunes (One Rock & Roll Too Many and Jesus Christ Superstar, respectively) was well worth the time.
Unfortunately, White is looking more pained by the week -- a malady Idol voters usually reward with rejection. Hey, if the pressure's too much for her to handle, America should do us all a favor and stop the madness. Right now.